By now we all know general manager Phil Emery likes to throw in a curve ball when it comes to the draft. Kyle Long and Shea McClellin were surprises and no one saw Alshon Jeffery coming either. We also know Emery hasn’t exactly had a keen eye when it comes to drafting defensive players.
With all the information we have, don’t be surprised if he picks Minnesota defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman. The 6’6”, 310 lbs. senior has all the physical tools to be a star but has been questionable when it comes to his consistency.
Hageman is the prototypical high risk, high reward player. He can be a boom or bust option. There’s nothing that shows you Hageman will be one of these “safe” players who will stick around for 10 years and be a dependable player. He’s either going to be a star or fizzle out as a huge first round bust.
Like what you are hearing so far? Didn’t think so. It should make you nervous to think Emery would take a chance with the defense being so close respectable again. Why wouldn’t Emery just go for a safer option like Timmy Jernigan or Darqueze Dennard? That’s not what Emery does. He likes to step in the box and either hit a home run or strike out swinging.
What’s good about Hageman? We already went over his physical skills. He also runs a 5.02 40-time which is not bad for a player carrying all that size. He can line up as the nose tackle or three-technique and just physically dominate opposing offensive lineman. When he wants to, he has no problem pushing people into the backfield and doing whatever he wants to disrupt the line of scrimmage.
What about the bad? Well, we already discussed him taking plays off. He also has a problem locating the football and firing off the line of scrimmage. He has problems getting that big body to move and shift causing him to be stiff at times. His technique needs to be worked on. It’s noticeable Hageman hasn’t been coached up enough on the key things that make him a consistent football player. That’s no knock on him, he did come from Minnesota which isn’t exactly a hot bed for college football.
Phil Emery could come to the conclusion that his coaching staff could fix Hageman. He might also believe there’s so much new talent on this defensive line not only will it make Hageman look better but these veteran players will take him under their wing. Hageman has all the talent and measurables to be a top-10 player but is likely a second rounder right now. It will be curious to see what Emery thinks come draft day.